Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm Addicted, I'll admit it

Before I started this new job of mine, (nearing the 3 month mark as we speak) I had heard of this little tool that i envisioned would make my life easier. In this role, I am a solitary DBA, in a shop that has very little visibility into the database systems. DBs were setup, configured, and if worked, were left well enough alone. Until something bad happened, no one really looked at them.

With my new task to be the Administrator of all things Database, I was concerned that something would occur when I wasn't sitting in my chair. How could I know what was going on on the systems in the early morning hours? What about later at night, while I was unwinding from my day? And lets not even talk about the weekends... those were the worst of all. What if something happened, while I was out playing... how would I know? How could I react quick enough to solve issues, how could I be informed?

Well, all this was a concern and had been addressed when I installed, configured a special piece of software called SQL Monitor, by RedGate. Once configured to my likes, it would capture events, send me alerts, even keep track of what had happened. I was freed up to do other tasks, as I had a monkey in the background collecting and monitoring for me. I love this monkey. I have grown accustomed to having him around and letting me know whats up.

Then came this last weekend, when everything went to, well, it wasn't what I was expecting. Last week, after an extension or two of my trial period expired ( I have yet to get the money makers to get me the money to purchase the product), I was left without a window into my database. It was amazing at how quickly I was able to become addicted to this software solution and rely upon it. I had found myself checking my phone (personal cell phone) periodically when the little blip went off that let me know I had received an email from work. Sometimes it was an email from my favorite monkey (SQL Monitor) that I had left back at the office to tirelessly watch my db. Sometimes I had to deal with the alert. Sometimes not. But it was always there, swinging in its cage, keeping an ever persistent watchful eye on my systems.

However, this last weekend, my monkey stopped working, because my trial expired. Addiction at its worst. I went into withdrawal. I didn't know what was going on. I had to check it manually, periodically, to ensure things were ok.

So, what have I learned from this experience? I warn all those of you thinking about using SQL Monitor. Don't do it. I mean, don't do it, unless you are willing to allow yourself to become addicted to its features and information and alerting. Don't do it unless you want to find yourself falling in love with an imaginary monkey that watches your systems without fail when you are not in the office. Don't do it unless you like offloading the automated digging into your systems, the automated alerting of issues, the freedom that this product grants you to do other tasks while it consistently does its prescribed tasks.More importantly, don't install it, become addicted to it, rely upon it, unless you can get it purchased quickly and not become disconnected from its addictive services. This I experienced this weekend. It wasn't nearly as fun as previous weekends when it simply worked, simply monitored, simply kept my sanity in check...

I have now received an extension on the trial again. I am plugged in. I got my fix. I can last a few more days. During this time, I MUST get the monies to purchase the product, so that I can continue having my fix. Continue to get the steady drip of love from #Red-Gate and #SQLMonitor. Allow SQL Monitor reach out its virtual hands and together we can grasp the greased rope holding on to my sanity. (who's quote is this? "even the most well- adjusted person is holding on to his or her sanity by a greased rope.")

I do enjoy the product, and have become used to its usefulness and features. I have become addicted to it. I need it.


Granted said...

Really glad to hear you like it. More good stuff coming from the development team. Those guys are focused like you wouldn't believe. If you have feedback, don't hesitate to send it my way.

DaveChel said...

Love the article. I'm just now trying it for the first time.

tjaybelt said...

I would love to talk to some usability folks about some of the ideas that I have that I think would be nice additions.